Suffolk Building Society Conveyancing Panel Information

The information on this page is designed to keep solicitors and licensed conveyancers abreast of latest requirements changes by Suffolk Building Society and to assist in remaining on the Suffolk Building Society Conveyancing Panel.

Suffolk Building Society Conveyancing Panel Assistance:

What are the Suffolk Building Society conveyancing panel criteria?
Unlike the CML the Building Society Mortgage Instructions deal with this. Section A.12 states ‘In order to act on our behalf your firm or company must be a member of our conveyancing panel provided we are a society that operates one – see specific requirements for details of our arrangements. The Special Requirements state:

The Society operates a Conveyancing Panel and in order for Firms to act for the Society you must be appointed to this panel. To be appointed to the panel you should apply at:-

You must also comply with the terms and conditions of your Suffolk Building Society solicitor panel appointment.

Do Suffolk Building Society or the Building Society Association run CPD seminars for the Suffolk Building Society approved conveyancing panel akin to the way that CQS do?
This not something that the BSA would traditionally get involved with however they do provided a number of useful conveyancing related conferences which are attended by firms on the Suffolk Building Society conveyancing panel. It is our intention to run specific lender focused seminars in the near future including a webinar on Suffolk Building Society’s requirements . Practitioners on the Suffolk Building Society conveyancing panel will be invited . Further details will be communicated as part of the LENDERmonitor change Notifications .
Given my firm’s membership on the Suffolk Building Society conveyancing panel for what period of time am I obliged to retain the original conveyancing file?
The BSA Mortgage Instructions state that the firm must keep the file for a minimum six years from the date of the mortgage. Data imaging is normally suitable compliance with this requirement. As a firm on the Suffolk Building Society conveyancing panel you must allow Suffolk Building Society to conduct such reasonable audit of your information security measures as Suffolk Building Society or their agents may to ensure your compliance with your file retention obligations.
What sort of information are Lenders such as Suffolk Building Society are asking for when it comes to applying to be on their approved conveyancing panel?
Each lender has different criteria. We do not hold specific requirements relating to the questions raised as part of the application to be on the Suffolk Building Society conveyancing panel. Typically lenders need to have full knowledge of a firm including (but not limited to):
  • Areas of Law covered by the firm
  • Whether the firm has ever knowingly accepted instructions on transactions involving Sale and Rent Back, Back to Back, Exchange and Delayed Completion and Lease Option, Below Market Value.
  • Whether the firm has ever applied for accreditation and the outcome of the application
  • Structure of firm and, where applicable, its group
  • The percentage of the firm’s business which is conveyancing broken down into sale
  • Conveyancer client account(s) details
  • Full disciplinary history for each conveyancing solicitor
  • PII Cover details, including, if relevant, whether the firm is or has been in the assigned risks pool and structure of cover – top-up split and history of any refusals
  • Full career history for each solicitor including admission date to the relevant Law Society
Who do building societies include on their conveyancing panel?
In the same way that there is a unique Suffolk Building Society conveyancing panel most building societies, operate a conveyancing panel for solicitors and other conveyancers that the lender will instruct. Terms and Conditions and criteria for inclusion on a building society conveyancing panel vary from lender-to-lender. Having CQS accreditation may be a requirement.

Institutional lenders, such as a building society, is a client and is entitled to instruct the solicitor or conveyancer of its choosing (who, in turn, is free to accept or refuse instructions). Therefore, if lender and borrower cannot agree which solicitor or conveyancer should represent them jointly, they would usually proceed on a separate representation basis.

The firm that I work for is on the Suffolk Building Society conveyancing panel. I am dealing with Suffolk Building Society mortgage on a purchase. My borrower client is asking not to disclose an issue to Suffolk Building Society. What do I do in this conflict situation?
When a solicitor is acting for both Suffolk Building Society and borrower there is potential for conflicts to arise. You owe duties to both clients. All information received by you from your client is confidential and cannot be disclosed without the client’s consent.

In your situation, if the purchaser will not consent to the information being passed on to the lender, the solicitor must cease to act for Suffolk Building Society and it may well be prudent for you to cease to act for the purchaser as well. You must not inform Suffolk Building Society of the reason for termination of the retainer over and above the fact that a conflict has arisen. The fact that you can no longer act should alert even the most somnambulistic of lenders that something is wrong with the borrower and/or purchase. The fact that you have disinstructed yourself should not affect your Suffolk Building Society conveyancing panel status.

My firm has just been advised that it’s Suffolk Building Society panel membership suspended but we have not yet been given a reason as to why . I am completing a CQS renewal form what details do I need to report?
In the circumstances please clarify on the form what steps you have taken to find out the reasons behind cancellation of your Suffolk Building Society panel membership . In particular please provide details if you have received communications from the lender. E.G. before cessation of your panel membership did you receive any letters or calls from the lender putting you on notice?
What lender panels do you receive the most questions about?
BSA lenders do not come within the top 20 lenders in terms of frequency of questions. The most popular lender panels in terms of questions are as follows:

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Average number of days to register title including a charge in favour of Suffolk Building Society
This information relates to purchase only and not remortgages.
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* Data aggregated from sources including COMPLETIONmonitor